Gret-Gret Totally Loses Her ----

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We'll admit it. One of the things we missed while we were hospitalized and recovering from our hostile merger with the front end of a fast-moving automobile was reading Gretchen Morgenson on Sundays. Her fevered columns may have forced law professor Larry Ribstein to give up his regular critiques of her work—apparently he sleeps better now that he doesn't read her—but it's just the sort of thing we need to get our blood flowing after a Saturday night of self-medication and saloon socializing.
This week Gret-Gret certainly didn't disappoint. She's in celebration mode. Her buoyant mood has arisen from her discovery of a recent speech by Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen & Katz named partner Marty Lipton warning that the current environment of criminal penalties attaching to corporate scandals may be diminishing the willingness of qualified individuals to serve as directors on corporate boards. This is indeed a difficult question—how do you encourage more responsible corporate government without making the job of a corporate director so unappealing that you diminish the quality of the willing candidates—but not one that has much of hold on Gret-Gret's mind.
What's got her excited is the simple fact that Marty Lipton—and presumably the corporate managers who are his clients—are worried. And whatever makes the Liptons of the world lose sleep is bound to bring ecstasy to Gret-Gret. And that's a bit sad. Rather than attempting to find solutions to the very real problems of corporate governance and board accountability, it's clear that Gret-Gret looks at this as a contest between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys.
But, to be honest, watching Gret-Gret fight with Lipton makes us feel like a bit like we're looking through the farm house window at George Orwell's pigs playing cards with the farmers. There's certainly not much to choose between them, and no matter who wins we're pretty sure it's not going to benefit investing public.
Oh, and we're sorry. But unless you are a "Times Select" subscriber, you can't read the column yet. It's hidden behind a the New York Times' brilliant attempt to jam its own signal. Something called "Times Select."
Update: Even Professor Ribstein couldn't resist Gret-Gret this week!

Memo to Shareholders: Shut Up
[$$] [New York Times]

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